Saturday, November 27, 2010

preparing for advent

advent is just around the corner and the anticipation is building in our home.

what is advent?  advent (from the Latin word adventus meaning "coming") is a season observed in many Western Christian churches, a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas. Christians believe that the season of Advent serves a reminder both of the original waiting that was done by the Hebrews for the birth of their Messiah as well as the waiting of Christians for Christ's return. (from Wikipedia)

we celebrate advent by doing an advent tree.  what is an advent tree? the idea of an advent tree comes from Isaiah 11:1-9, where God promises a discouraged nation that the glory they remember from david's time will come to them again. they will have another king from jesse's family, in whose reign the whole earth will know God. christians see that promise fulfilled in Jesus, and so we put up an advent tree and decorate it with reminders of how God prepared the world for that Kingdom. (taken from Darcy James' book Let's Make a Jesse Tree!)

each day, starting on december 1 and ending on december 25, i will share the scripture that we read as a family and the ornament that is hung on the tree with you in hopes that family and friends would join with us.

i modified our reading plan a bit last year to perfectly coincide with our favorite chidren's bible, the Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones.
if you have young kids and don't have this bible, you must walk out of your house, get in your car, and drive to your nearest bookstore to buy it. right now. seriously. and no, i am not being paid to say this. this bible is the sweetest one i've read. each story points towards Christ and is so good!

so here is our reading plan for this advent, along with what i think will probably be the coordinating ornament, though there are a few we might end up changing. the ornaments are simple, crafted from felt, that noodle and i made together last year while burrito was at school. eventually the plan is to buy "real" ornaments to replace the felt ones, but i imagine that might be a slow process (ornaments can be so expensive!).

so the reading plan is this:

dec 1 creation genesis 1-2 pgs 18-27 dove
dec 2 the fall genesis 3 pgs 28-37 fruit tree
dec 3 the flood genesis 6-9 pgs 38-47 rainbow
dec 4 tower of babel genesis 11 pgs 48-55 tower
dec 5 the promise to abraham genesis 12-21 pgs 56-61 stars in the sky
dec 6 abraham and isaac genesis 22 pgs 62-69 ram
dec 7 jacob, rachel and leah genesis 29-30 pgs 70-75 stalks of grain
dec 8 joseph genesis 37-46 pgs 76-83 a rainbow coat
dec 9 moses and the burning bush exodus 3-13 pgs 84-91 a burning bush
dec 10 moses and the red sea exodus 14-15 pgs 92-99 the split waters
dec 11 the law exodus 16 ff pgs 100-107 stone tablets
dec 12 joshua and jericho josh 3-6 pgs 108-115 trumpet
dec 13 david's anointing 1 sam 16 pgs 116-121 david the shepherd boy
dec 14 david and goliath 1 sam 17 pgs 122-129 slingshot
dec 15 david the shepherd psalm 23, 51 pgs 130-135 lyre
dec 16 naaman 2 kings 5 pgs 136-143 a heart
dec 17 isaiah isaiah 9 ff pgs 144-151 crown
dec 18 daniel in the lion's den daniel 6 pgs 152-159 daniel and a lion
dec 19 jonah jonah 1-4 pgs 160-169 fish
dec 20 the prophets neh 8-10 pgs 170-175 party hat
dec 21 john the baptist matt 3 pgs 200-203 a shell
dec 22 mary and the angel luke 1-2 pgs 176-179 an angel
dec 23 journey to bethlehem luke 1-2 pgs 180-181 a scroll
dec 24 the shepherds and wise men luke 2, matt 2 pgs 184-188 the three wise men
dec 25 jesus is born! luke 2 pgs 182, 190, 192-198 baby jesus

i would love for you to join us in doing this. it made for the best and sweetest christmas season ever for us last year. it takes a commitment of time, which just means less opportunity to be assaulted by consumerism in the malls. it takes a little bit of effort in making or securing the ornaments. however, it is so worth it and so rewarding! the boys loved taking turns hanging the ornaments on the tree, and the excitement and expectation builds as more and more ornaments fill the tree, until christ is born and christmas is here!


Jennifer said...

Hi Kelli,

The scallop shell is a traditional symbol for baptism. I borrowed the ideas for the ornaments from the book I referenced in this post, "How to Make a Jesse Tree." You, of course, could use whatever symbol reminds one of baptism as well. Whatever works! :)

If you are wondering about any other symbols, you can look back in the archives of my blog under advent tree, and I've listed what each ornament represents. Some are more obvious than others, ha! As I post each ornament this year, I'll also include the symbolism.

So glad to hear you love the JSB too! Happy Advent to your family!

Emily said...

Love that book. We read it almost every night. Our church bought a copy for all of the kids a few years ago.